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May 14 2019

Restoring the Synagogue Soundtrack

Powell Library

In this talk “Jewish Religious Music in Nineteenth-Century America: Restoring the Synagogue Soundtrack”, Professor Judah Cohen of Indiana University explores the very creation of what we know today as “Jewish music.” There were no professional cantors in synagogues in early America. Choirs were non-existent. Synagogue practice mirrored that in European synagogues. But all that changed in 19th Century America. Why? Sharing insights from a book of the same name, Cohen tells the story of the innovations and evolutions in Jewish musical developments of that period, laying the foundation of the Jewish music we know today. UCLA student vocalists sing music of the period, highlighting Cohen's talk.

Professor Shari Rabin of the College of Charleston, scholar of American religious history and the author of "Jews on the Frontier: Religion and Mobility in Nineteenth-Century America" will be the respondent.

This event is made possible by the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. It is co-sponsored by The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, the Department of Ethnomusicology, the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies and the Department of Musicology.

Register in advance for this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

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This event is FREE! No RSVP required. Early arrival is recommended.


Self-service parking is available at UCLA’s Parking Structure #2. Costs range from $1 for 20 minutes to $20 all day. Learn more about campus parking.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is eager to provide a variety of accommodations and services for access and communications. If you would like to request accommodations, please do so 10 days in advance of the event by emailing ADA@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu or calling (310) 825-0174.


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Food and drink may not be carried into the theaters. Thank you!